Thursday, April 9, 2020

2020 URCA Goes Virtual on Apr. 15

Ashland University’s College of Arts and Sciences is going virtual for the eleventh annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium which will feature 41 presentations and exhibitions given by 75 students and alumni representing 27 programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. The April 15 symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and is free and open to the public through various Zoom meetings which are listed on the schedule at ashlandurca.blogspot.com.

Dr. Dawn Weber, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will provide the welcome and opening remarks. She explains that the symposium follows the format of a professional conference with students presenting original research, reading original creative writing, and exhibiting their artwork. Weber said, "CAS undergraduate students continue to make original intellectual and creative contributions to their disciplines early in their careers. We are delighted to share with the public and campus community highlights of the outstanding work being conducted by our students in departments across the arts, humanities, natural science and social science disciplines."

According to Dr. Christopher Swanson, URCA Symposium Committee Chair, Ashland's 2020 URCA Symposium is being held a week earlier than the national celebration of Undergraduate Research Week by the Council on Undergraduate Research, of which Ashland University is an institutional member. Dr. Swanson adds, "Based on the positive response to alumni presentations in the past couple of years, this year will again offer research presentations by two arts and sciences alumni, Paul Dyczkowski and Dr. David Werner. Their presentations will be featured at the first Oral Session from 9 - 10:15 a.m."

Paul Dyczkowski (2013) was raised by an artist who is also a factory worker which guided him into seeing the art behind the machine, and into sensing a grander architecture and architect behind the daily rumblings of our lives. After studying English, Creative Writing, and philosophy at AU, art and especially reading and writing remain critical to both his day-to-day life and career. Now employed by a technology company that prides itself on problem-solving and for supplying makers, thinkers, and repairers with whatever type of hardware they need, poetry remains integral to who he is. Written and verbal communication is imperative where he works, and quickly identifying what type of problem is at hand and fixing it as smoothly as possible is of paramount importance. Having studied what may get hidden or lost in words helps his career, and also drives his personal life. In his presentation "Speak to the Rushing Water: I Am - Reflections in Poems," Paul will share a few poems that revolve around his thankfulness and awe in looking at this world that we can constantly change with all the tools at our disposal, tools both physical and otherwise.

Dr. David Werner (2001) graduated with a double major in biology and chemistry. Following graduation, he continued onto his graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine specializing in neuropharmacology, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He is currently a tenured associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at Binghamton University, State University of New York, where his lab focuses on intrinsic and extrinsic developmental factors related to substance use disorders, primarily alcohol. His presentation "The (Not So) Good, Bad, and Ugly: Adolescent Alcohol Exposure" will give an overview of our current state of understanding of adolescent alcohol use vulnerability, its relationship to alcohol use disorder later in life, and novel translationally relevant preclinical interventional conduits.

A complete presentation schedule with online links and abstract booklet can be accessed  at ashlandurca.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Call for 2020 URCA: Workshop 1/21 | Abstracts Due 1/31 | Symposium 4/15

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium Committee is pleased to announce the Call for Abstracts for the Eleventh Annual College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium. This event will highlight the research, scholarly, and creative activities of students throughout the College of Arts and Sciences, and will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Please consider submitting your work to the Symposium!

All students who are declared majors in a program within the College of Arts and Sciences are invited to participate in this year’s Symposium. Group projects in which some members are majoring outside of the College of Arts and Sciences will be considered by the URCA Committee. Current students, as well as December 2019 graduates, are welcome to present their work. Presenters may choose a preference to give an oral presentation, poster presentation, exhibition, or performance. All presentations should have a significant research or creative component; examples of such include, but are not limited to, summer research conducted at Ashland University or elsewhere, results of independent study projects, thesis work, literary readings or analysis, musical or theatrical performances, and exhibitions of artwork.

All abstracts submitted require approval of a faculty sponsor who is familiar with the student’s work and can attest to the quality of the work. At the time of submission, students will indicate who their faculty sponsor is. The URCA Symposium committee will then contact the sponsor via e-mail to confirm that the sponsor has viewed and approved the abstract. In approving a submission, a faculty sponsor is indicating that the abstract meets the faculty sponsor’s standard for professional work, and that the abstract is print-ready. Submissions that have not been approved by a faculty sponsor will not be accepted for presentation.

Students who wish to present at the Symposium should contact a College of Arts and Sciences faculty member who can act as a faculty sponsor. When the project is ready, the student should work with the faculty sponsor to prepare an abstract in Microsoft Word and email that Word document to the URCA Symposium Committee at au.urca@gmail.com. Students must copy their faculty sponsors on the email that contains the submission. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 31, 2020. This deadline is firm.

The URCA Symposium committee will hold an abstract writing workshop on Tuesday, January 21, 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Patterson 324 to assist students in polishing their abstracts.  

A complete submission must include ALL of the following:

A. Name of Student Presenter(s)
B. Campus Box Number of Student Presenter(s)
C. Home Address of Student Presenter(s)
D. Class Year (e.g. junior, senior) and Major(s) of Student Presenter(s)
E. Name of Faculty Sponsor
F. College of Arts and Sciences program in which the work is focused (e.g. Biology, Psychology, Music)
G. Title of the Presentation
H. Preferred Format of Presentation (Poster Presentation, 12 Minute Performance, 12 Minute Oral Presentation, or Art Exhibition)
I. Special Equipment Required (PCs and projectors are provided; if no other equipment is needed, please indicate “No special equipment needed”)
J. Body of the Abstract (250 words or fewer)
K. Anticipated Scheduling Conflicts for Symposium on 4/15/2020 (e.g. COBE/COE/CON class meetings, athletic events, or other commitments that cannot be moved on this date; if none, please indicate “No scheduling conflicts anticipated”)

Students who would like to see examples of acceptable abstracts may view abstracts from the prior years’ events on URCA blog. Additionally, these submission instructions and helpful hints for preparing submissions will be archived on the blog. The URCA committee will hold an abstract writing workshop in January in order to assist students in polishing their abstracts. In the meantime, should you have any questions about presenting at the Symposium or the abstract submission process, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Christopher Swanson at cswanson@ashland.edu. Questions may also be directed to members of the URCA Symposium Committee:

URCA Symposium Committee

Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology
Megan Connor, University Writing Center
Dr. Hilary Donatini, English
Dr. Scott Garlock, Music
Dr. Nicholas Johnson, Chemistry
Dr. Wendy Schaller, Art

Friday, April 12, 2019

Congratulations URCA 2019!

Congratulations to all presenting students, their faculty advisors and the URCA committee for another fabulous Symposium. If you missed it, check out the Facebook photo gallery for some of the scenes of the event. Also save the date for 2020 which is tax day: Wednesday, April 15, 2020!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Dingus Wins Top Poster Award

Junior Abbi Dingus, a double major in Biology and Biochemistry, won the top undergraduate poster award at the Ohio State University Plant Sciences Symposium, which was held March 30th in Columbus, OH. Abbi's poster, entitled "Density-dependent growth responses of Arabidopsis to copper: High densities are beneficial for efficient contaminant uptake," summarizes work done for her Honors' thesis under the direction of Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer (Chemistry) and Dr. Soren Brauner (Biology). Collaborating on the project is Dr. Aki Sinkkonen of the University of Helsinki.

Abbi will present her research findings at the URCA Symposium on April 9 at Oral Session IV: 2-3 p.m. in the Trustees Room of the Convocation Center.

Read more at ashlandscience.blogspot.com

Monday, March 11, 2019

URCA 2019 Booklet & Schedule Available

The 2019 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium is quickly approaching on Tuesday, April 9 and the abstract booklet and presentation schedule is now available to view online. 

CAS Dean Dr. Dawn Weber describes URCA as "Following the format of a professional conference, students will present original research, perform theatrical and musical selections, read original creative writing, and exhibit their artwork."

Back by popular demand, two arts and sciences alumni will present their current research and creative activity. 

  • Jennifer Winkler graduated in 2012 with a BFA degree in Fine Art and a Bachelor of Science in Art Education with minors in Spanish and art history. Upon graduation, she worked as a newspaper photographer and as a figure painter and muralist for Carousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio, traveling with a crew around the United States painting carousels and murals. She is currently an art teacher at Green Local Schools in Smithville, Ohio, teaching grades 6-12 (see p. 9). 
  • Jennifer Tully graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in geology and integrated science education with a minor in biology. She is currently a geologist with Pegasus Technical Services, Inc., in Cincinnati and aids the USEPA Office of Research and Development's examination of drinking water pipe corrosion scales and deposits, along with developing sampling plans to investigate the occurrence of lead in drinking water (see p. 11).
For more information about URCA 2019, be sure to follow this blog for updates.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Abstract Writing Wkshp Jan. 15 | Abstracts Due Jan. 25

This is a reminder of the Friday, January 25, 2019 (5:00 p.m.) deadline for submission of abstracts for the Tenth Annual College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium. This event will highlight the research, scholarly, and creative activities of students throughout the College of Arts and Sciences, and will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.  Please consider submitting your work for this event.

The URCA committee will hold an abstract writing workshop on Tuesday, January 15th at 7:30-9:00 p.m. in room 217 Kettering in order to assist students in polishing their abstracts. 

All students who are declared majors in a program within the College of Arts and Sciences are invited to participate in this year’s Symposium.  Group projects in which some members are majoring outside of the College of Arts and Sciences will be considered by the URCA Committee.  Current students, as well as December 2018 graduates, are welcome to present their work.  Presenters may choose to give an oral presentation, poster presentation, exhibition, or performance.  All presentations should have a significant research or creative component; examples of such include, but are not limited to, summer research conducted at Ashland University or elsewhere, results of independent study projects, thesis work, literary readings or analysis, musical or theatrical performances, and exhibitions of artwork.  All abstracts submitted require approval of a faculty sponsor who is familiar with the student’s work and can attest to the quality of the work.

Examples of acceptable abstracts from the prior years’ events, as well as detailed submission instructions for the abstracts are posted on the URCA blog (http://ashlandurca.blogspot.com). If you have any questions about presenting at the Symposium or the abstract submission process, please contact Jeff Weidenhamer, Director of the URCA Symposium, at jweiden@ashland.edu.

Questions may also be directed to members of the URCA Symposium Committee:

URCA Symposium Committee
Dr. Christopher Burkett, History/Political Science
Dr. Christopher Chartier, Psychology
Dr. Hilary Donatini, English
Dr. Scott Garlock, Music
Dr. Wendy Schaller, Art
Dr. Gordon Swain, Mathematics